Book Review: DIY Fashion

Selena Francis-Bryden has distilled her years of designing, customizing, and selling clothing in London’s Portobello Market into 40 ways to revamp your old clothes. In the tradition of DIY craft culture and eco-friendly design, this slim paperback aims to show you how to refashion (in your own fashion) everything you own. Her approach is completely opposite from many “wardrobe” books – no mad dash to the mall for a structured blazer or wide-legged trouser here. Instead, she rouses our creative senses with promises of rejuvenating preexisting closets.

Francis-Bryden opens the book by evoking a tailor’s intuition, presenting fledgling seamstresses with notes to consider on colour and fabric durability. She points out that timeless fabrics like denim and linen are versatile and sturdy, whereas something like lamé will not stand the test of time (for both physical and trend-y reasons.) Of course it’s always awkward to chaperone creativity, but Francis-Bryden does well to remind readers of the importance of imagining the longevity of these projects within their own aesthetic.
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